Foreign-based stars struggled in 2015
Malawi has some 30 football exports mostly playing for clubs in Mozambique and South Africa followed by a few others spread in Zimbabwe, Botswana, DRC and Greece.
However, most of the players would live to forget year 2015 as they struggled for regular football. In turn, the struggles affected Malawi national football team, the Flames.
It is only few such as Limbikani Mzava and Robert Ng’ambi, who during the year, enjoyed had regular runs at Mpumalanga Black Aces and Platinum Stars respectively in South Africa Absa Premier League.
For the South Africa-based player, none among the Malawian strikers—-Robin Ngalande, Frank Gabadinho Mhango and Esau Kanyenda—have scored in 2015 in the league.
The story is also the same for the other players.
Gerald Phiri Jnr is also yet to get a bite of competitive football in South Africa. The former Zimbabwe’s Caps United gem, is waiting for papers before he can play Bidvest Wits.
Compatriot Micium Mhone’s career at Jomo Cosmos was slowed down by an injury since securing a move from Blue Eagles.
Phiri and Mhone were spotted from the Cosafa Cup held in South Africa between May and June.
Still in South Africa, injuries have also compromised Mhango’s career at Bloemfontein Celtic. He underwent two surgeries over groin injuries.
Little, wonder the Flames only rely on home-based Chiukepo Msowoya for scoring having finished the year with four goals.
In Zimbabwe, defender, George Nyirenda, was struck by niggling injuries that limited his availability for Caps in the late stages of the season.
However, it was not all doom and gloom for the Malawians across the borders.
In Botswana, forgotten former Be Forward Wanderers captain, Lawrence Majawa, is still a regular for Township Rollers, but there is little information on defender Louis Minjale and striker Jimmy Zakazaka’s exploits.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, former Flames captain Joseph Kamwendo’s career has been granted temporary relief at Don Bosco where he is back to his best, scoring and creating.
Kamwendo signed for Don Bosco on a loan from TP Mazembe, but the bad news is that the reigning Africa Champions League champions have made it clear that they have no intention of selling the Malawian.
Across the borders in Mozambique, Chimango Kayira, was as usual impressive at Costa do Sol, and at the end of his contract, he is a subject of interest of big clubs such as Liga Desportivo.
However, goalkeeper Simplex Nthala was rendered in active after receiving a length ban for allegedly attacking a referee while playing for Maxaquene. The Flames goalkeeper denied the charge.
Until, the ban Nthala’s exploits put Maxaquene at the top of the table, only to climb down when he was banned for a year.
In Greece, Tawonga Chimodzi and his elder brother, Young Chimodzi Jnr, have after struggling, finally had a taste of regular action. The Chimodzi brothers are only Europe-based Malawian footballers.
Full list of foreign-based players : Chipiliro Jose, Dangalira Mnelemba, Dave Mphaya, Jimmy Chikulekule, Idrissa Walesi, Foster Namwela, Moses Chavula, Simplex Nthala, Charles Swini, Frank Banda, Chawanangwa Kawonga, Zicco Mkanda, Chimango Kayira (Mozambique), Gerald Phiri Jnr, Mzava, Ng’ambi, Harry Nyirenda, Robin Ngalande, Atusaye Nyondo, Micium Mhone, Frank Gabadinho Mhango, Esau Kanyenda (all South Africa), George Nyirenda (Zimbabwe), Joseph Kamwendo (DRC) , Lawrence Majawa, Jimmy Zakazaka, Louis Minjale (Botswana), Tawonga Chimodzi, Young Chimodzi Jnr (Greece).
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